Indo-Pak series: PCB chief Shaharyar meets Rajeev Shukla


Qaiser Mohammad Ali


After his harrowing experience in Mumbai on Monday, when threat by Shiv Sainiks made BCCI officials cancel talks with him, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Shaharyar Khan met IPL governing council chairman Rajev Shukla in New Delhi on Tuesday morning.

Khan, who along with his wife called on Shukla at the latter’s residence, could also meet a few more people of influence, and one of them could be union minister Arun Jaitley, who is said be taking important cricketing decisions.

Before he started for Shukla’s residence on Tuesday morning, Khan, a first cousin of late India captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi,told that he had no fixed appointments and that he might be able to say something only after meeting “some people”.

“Let me first meet some people [during the day] and before those meetings I cannot say anything now,” Khan told from a five-star hotel where he is staying with his wife. “Please wait till the evening; only then will I be able to speak, after my meetings.”

The PCB chief had gone to Mumbai on the invitation of newly elected BCCI president Shahshnak Manohar, who took over the reins recently. Manohar wanted to make a fresh beginning vis-à-vis the bilateral series with Pakistan which, according to the ICC’s Future Tours Programme, was scheduled in December in the UAE (as it is currently not conducive to play in Pakistan).

BCCI sources, however, said that after the meeting between the BCCI officials and the PCB delegation, comprising Khan and Najan Sethi, a member on PCB’s Board of Governors, and Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmad, was cancelled, no meeting was scheduled in Delhi.

The Mumbai meeting was cancelled after Shiv Sainiks stormed the BCCI headquarters and threatened BCCI officials, including Manohar, to not to hold talks with the PCB and shouted anti-Pakistan slogans. When they stormed the BCCI headquarters, the PCB delegation was not there.

A BCCI source said that since Manohar and PCB delegation stayed at the same hotel in Mumbai, they would have surely met there. “The wives of Shaharyar Khan and Manohar also met each other as they were in the same hotel,” he said.

After the BCCI-PCB talks were cancelled, Sethi and Ahmed returned to Dubai while Khan and his wife took Delhi-bound flight.

However, the Khan couple’s ordeal wasn’t over with the cancellation of BCCI-PCB talks. After they reached Mumbai’s Shivaji airport, they had to change two planes to come to Delhi.

Sources said that the first plane the Khan couple sat developed some snag and when they boarded a second one there was a problem on the runway.

“They finally reached Delhi pretty late in the night,” said the source. “Shahrayar’s wife was particularly tired and annoyed at changing two planes.”

The two countries have not played a Test series for almost eight years, the last series being in December 2007 when Pakistan toured India. The two countries have, however, bene playing against each other in ICC events, like the World Cup and Champions Trophy.

They are next scheduled to play in the ICC World Twenty20 that will be played in India early next year. According to ICC president Zaheer Abbas, India and Pakistan are to play the first match of the tournament, though the world body hasn’t announced the scheduled yet.


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